The makers of luxury and supercars spend a lot of time

The wheels on the original 2013 Lamborghini Urus concept can't hurt you, no matter how menacing they seem.

The wheels on the original 2013 Lamborghini Urus concept can’t hurt you, no matter how menacing they seem.
picture: Alexander Hassenstein (Getty Images)

Rich people bought Lamborghinis while the rest of us learned to knit, Nissan is considering an additional third US plant with renewed confidence that Tesla won’t break India, for now. All that and more on Friday the thirteenth edition of morning shift On May 13, 2022.

First gear: even Bentley sales soar

We often hear about major automakers producing cars on a large scale, like Toyotaand breaking sales records despite the ongoing shortages in the supply chain. But some ultra-high-end car makers are also enjoying unprecedented success, according to her Car News.

Rolls-Royce and Bentley achieve record sales in 2021 and are on track for further gains in 2022.

These two companies — along with Tesla, BMW, Mini and Genesis — were the only brands to report higher sales in the US in the first quarter.

Alan Haig, president of Haig Partners, a buy-and-hold consultancy, said combined US sales at seven exotic and ultra-luxury brands — Lamborghini, Maserati, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin — jumped 5 percent from 2018 to 2021.

“The market is much less volatile and more profitable today because of the higher number of affluent families,” Haig said. “And manufacturers are responding with a new product and higher prices.”

While many people tried to learn new languages, practiced archery and did not fall seriously ill in those months of peak seclusion when travel was not advisable, the wealthy bought luxury cars.

Steady gains in real estate values ​​and on Wall Street in recent years have increased household wealth.

Well-off families had more time and fewer opportunities to flaunt traveling and eating out during the pandemic.

Spending has increased on merchandise of all kinds, including ultra-luxury SUVs and cars.

Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin all seized the moment, but US sales didn’t reach all the exotic brands — or at least not for the same reason. Lotus 2021 looks a lot better than it did in 2020 because the company We have already started receiving orders for a new model Last year, Elise and Exig died on this side of the Atlantic a decade ago. Ferrari sold about 200 fewer cars in the US in 2021 than three years earlier, and McLaren and Maserati found themselves lagging behind previous performance by a large margin.

Concluding with an apt quote from the dealership’s owner quoted in the Auto News article: “At the heart of our business now is an old axiom. If you tell Americans they can’t have something, they should have it.”

Second gear: Nissan discovering itself

Yesterday we shared the news that Nissan is turning a profit again for the first time in three years. It is also looking to expand US production with a focus on electric vehicles. Everyone is interested in doing that, of course, but few have been in the EV game for as long as Nissan. from Car News:

Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said the Japanese automaker would likely need a new plant by the end of the decade under its ambitious 2030 long-term plan.

Gupta did not specify that the new facility would be geared exclusively toward electric vehicles, but the context of his discussion revolved around electric vehicles.

“The way we’re moving forward, I think we’re going to need a new plant,” Gupta said Friday at Nissan’s global headquarters here.

He said that this step is in line with the trend towards localization, as Nissan makes electrification a focal point for future growth.

Last November, Nissan said it would invest 2 trillion yen ($16.4 billion) in the next five years to boost the electric car’s push with 23 new entries worldwide by the end of the decade while the company derives 40 percent of US sales from electric. pure. .

It is a damn time. The company has built Leafs for longer than Tesla has been pumping sedans, however, letting everyone – especially Volkswagen – To take advantage of the positive combo of electric vehicles. Now, Nissan is clearly a few years into that, but you have to wonder if you were the first to do something and didn’t remind everyone of that fact constantly, you’re failing as a marketing organization. Clearly, Nissan decided to stop leaving money on the table.

Third gear: India rejects Tesla, for now

Speaking of Tesla, its plans to expand into India have been thwarted by tariffs, Reuters reports.

Three people familiar with the matter told Reuters that Tesla has halted plans to sell electric cars in India, abandoned the search for a showroom and rehired some members of its local team after it failed to secure lower import taxes.

The decision came after more than a year of stalled talks with government representatives as Tesla sought to test demand first by selling electric cars imported from production centers in the United States and China, at low tariffs.

But the Indian government is pushing Tesla to commit to manufacturing locally before it lowers tariffs, which can be as high as 100% on imported cars.

Sources familiar with the company’s plan told Reuters that Tesla has set itself a February 1 deadline, the day India will reveal its budget and announce tax changes, to see if its pressure has paid off.

The sources, who requested anonymity because the deliberations were confidential, added that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government did not offer a concession, Tesla suspended plans to import cars into India.

At the moment, Tesla lost this game of chicken with the Indian government, expected special treatment and got nothing. That’s not to say it won’t and will never be able to reassemble itself, go back and break into the market, but India is sticking tightly to its guns here – and you can’t say it didn’t give Tesla ample warning.

Fourth gear: Everyone does it so why can’t a Porsche?

in february Volkswagen announces plan to list Porsche, the automaker you own, by the last quarter of the year. Today, the holding company Porsche that owns Volkswagen — a different Porsche — has unobtrusively pumped the brakes into that plan for an initial public offering, citing “a plethora of different influencing factors.”

“We are working on financing plans in order to be robust in the various valuation scenarios for an initial public offering (IPO),” said Hans-Dieter Buch, Chairman of the Porsche Board of Management.

“The actual feasibility of an IPO depends on a large number of different influencing factors… Final decisions have yet to be made.”

If you ask the CEO of Volkswagen, Herbert Dies, now he is It’s time for an IPO for Porsche. Volkswagen is driving Heavy brands these days After all, and for names like Porsche that already have a lot of cache but also Dealing in luxury electric cars, it seems like a surefire way to maximize this latent potential. It will probably happen eventually, but Volkswagen may have talked too soon.

Fifth Gear: More of you should have bought 4C Spiders

I mean, this is my take on this interview between Larry Dominic, President of North America at Alfa Romeo and Carscopswhere Dominic hedges his view of the possibility of acquiring a new Halo for the company:

“The halo model is important to the brand and is likely to be in addition to the base models,” he told us. But what we do and how often we do it may vary. We can make a very limited edition super sports car or we can make a modest size replacement for a spider.”

What seems less likely is for Alfa to take another shot at something in between that was technically advanced but sold in very small numbers and at a relatively regular price.

“If you replace the 4C Spider it will be a very modest size. There is not enough audience to support a large number of this thing,” Dominic admitted, before putting on a more positive tone.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t do some independent things. Sister brand Maserati has done so. I want to make sure we’re looking at every opportunity, so what I’m going to say is on hold, you never know when you’re going to listen to things.”

No CEO would explicitly say “that doesn’t happen” regarding the possibility of an excited car because it kills hopeless hope, and brands are fed up with that kind of thing. The modularity of body styles over EV architecture would probably make trying a sports car here or there more rewarding, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a new 8C. If Alfa wants an idea, it should salute Scighera.

Rear: Wrangler boy

On this day in 1986, 36 years ago, a Wrangler nameplate entered showrooms as a replacement for the Jeep CJ. from Allpar:

Codenamed YJ, the first major re-engineering of the old CJ line was named Wrangler in the United States, YJ in Canada. It was first shown in February 1986 at the Chicago Auto Show, and arrived in showrooms on May 13, 1986.

Functionally, the biggest difference was the new suspension, changed to avoid tipping, which became increasingly popular as CJs became popular for recreation. The YJ, like the CJ, was a live-axle design with Hotchkiss (parallel leaf spring) suspension. In short, the car used longitudinal and semi-elliptical leaf springs in the front and rear, with a front stabilizer bar and front and rear track bars.

To increase stability, the springs were enlarged and loosened further, and a “track rod” or Panhard rod was added (along with many other changes). The setup worked well to prevent the rollover, although Jeep engineer Evan Boberge wrote, “Riding quality was very poor… [and] stiffer springs were needed to meet the durability requirements, which makes the ride worse. “

Poor ride quality always stays true to its roots, which is the hallmark of the Wrangler to this day.

Neutral: Their prices are constantly rising

Yesterday Gas price broke the record for the third day in a rowDiesel continued its upward ascent 11 days. Do you do anything differently to manage it? I definitely stopped buying anything over 87 octane months ago, but only because my car could accommodate. The Mazda 3 Turbo that I drove last week will accept 87 hp, but it makes something like an extra 25 hp over the 93, which should annoy me as an owner at the moment.

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